A certified workplace agreement (CWA) is a legally binding agreement between an employer and their employees that sets out the terms and conditions of employment for a particular workplace. CWAs are approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) and provide both the employer and employees with certainty and clarity around their rights and responsibilities.
A CWA must comply with the National Employment Standards (NES), which are a set of minimum employment entitlements that all employees in Australia are entitled to. These include things like annual leave, sick leave, and public holiday entitlements.
CWAs can cover a range of topics, including:
– Pay and conditions: CWAs typically set out the minimum wage rates and allowances that employees are entitled to, as well as any additional benefits such as parental leave, superannuation contributions, or bonuses.
– Working hours: CWAs may specify standard working hours, break times, and overtime arrangements. They may also include provisions for flexible working arrangements, such as part-time or remote work.
– Dispute resolution: CWAs often outline the process for resolving disputes between employees and employers. This may involve mediation or arbitration, and can help to prevent costly legal disputes.
– Health and safety: CWAs may include provisions for workplace health and safety, including training requirements, equipment maintenance, and hazard identification and reporting.
To be approved by the FWC, a CWA must be voted on and supported by a majority of the affected employees. It must also meet certain legal requirements, such as not including discriminatory or unfair terms.
Once a CWA has been approved, it will typically remain in place for a fixed period of time (often two to four years) before being renegotiated. During this time, both employers and employees are bound by the terms of the agreement, and any disputes must be resolved in accordance with its provisions.
In summary, a certified workplace agreement is an important legal tool that provides clarity and certainty for employers and employees alike. By setting out the terms and conditions of employment for a particular workplace, CWAs help to ensure that everyone knows where they stand and can work together to create a fair and productive workplace.